Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors reported it first: Billy Butler has agreed to a three-year, $30 million free agent contract with the Oakland Athletics.
That’s quite a lengthy commitment to a designated hitter whose OPS has been in a freefall over the past three seasons — .882 in 2012, .787 in 2013, and .702 in 2014 — but Butler is only 28 years old and the average annual value of the deal ($10 million) isn’t too bad. Maybe he’ll be able to find new life with the A’s, who excel at exploiting righty-lefty matchups.
Butler is a .314/.393/.519 career hitter against left-handed pitching. He batted .255/.301/.352 versus righties in 2014.
Oakland needed offense. Butler should be able to help that cause, in doses.
Red Sox southpaw David Price was lifted in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Astros. While there was some initial concern that he might have trigged the elbow tendinitis that has been affecting him lately, manager Alex Cora was quick to clarify the situation as the result of “flu-like symptoms.”
Price pitched just 2/3 of an inning, inducing a first-pitch fly out from Aledmys Díaz, striking out Alex Bregman, and allowing a single to Michael Brantley before making his departure from the mound. He was replaced by rookie right-hander Colten Brewer.
Barring further complications, Price will likely stay on track to make his next scheduled start during the Red Sox’ upcoming road trip. Entering Saturday’s match-up, the 33-year-old lefty carried a 2-2 record in seven starts with a 3.29 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, and 10.1 SO/9 across 41 innings in 2019.
Following Price’s removal, the Red Sox are still tied 0-0 with the Astros in the fifth.